Cars > Vision

BMW reveals funky-looking, oddly named Mini crossover concept

It’s called the Aceman, and it’s the first all-electric crossover in the family

This is Mini's latest electric crossover concept. Dig? PHOTO FROM MINI

BMW design has been a bit of a mixed bag in recent times. Giant kidneys and tiny lights on the new 7-Series stood in stark contrast with more traditional lines and the well-received appearance of the M3 Touring.

It’s almost as if the Bavarians are experimenting around and then adjusting the results depending on the reception it gets from the public. It will be interesting to see then how the latest creation from the group is received by potential buyers. This time, it’s the Mini that’s getting a makeover in an attempt to keep this urban fashion car fashionable.

The potential future design of the iconic brand is being showcased by the oddly named Mini Aceman Concept, a new crossover model that of course runs on electricity.

This Mini will be made for the city despite its chunky size. PHOTO FROM MINI

The Aceman is meant to sit between the Cooper and the Countryman, and once the production version of this car emerges at some point in the near future, it will apparently be the first-ever three-door Mini crossover model.

None of the current Mini models are really mini anymore (at least not in the way of the original cars), and the Aceman is no exception, booking in at 4.05m in length, 1.99m wide, and 1.59m tall. No technical details have been revealed apart from the fact that it’s fully electric, and the focus is firmly on the appearance of this chunky city cruiser.

The Union Jack roof rack is a clever design touch we hope will be a real thing in future Minis. PHOTO FROM MINI

At the front, a now fully closed grille features an LED matrix display for the obligatory light show when you approach the car (including ‘winking’ headlights), while the big 20-inch rims give it quite a nice visual presence.

There’s a lot of color and general quirkiness going on with the Aceman, and the fact the car will be officially unveiled at a video game convention in Germany next week tells you whom the brand is aiming the car at.

While the overall design has been updated, some of the well-known features are still there, such as the Union Jack rear lights. Instead of a British flag on the roof, the car features a cargo rack that looks like one and will give fashionistas ample space to carry leisure equipment.

We're 100% sure that this projection tech won't make it to production. PHOTO FROM MINI

On the inside, the round center instrument is now an OLED display, and if you thought the trend of sticking bigger and bigger touchscreens in cars was bad, then see what else the firm has fitted here.

The center display can be extended across the whole dashboard and even into the doors by way of projection technology. That way, you can have clouds or waves projected onto the dash or use it as a giant navigation map—all things we’re totally sure won’t be distracting at all.

This is a cabin made for the younger generation. PHOTO FROM MINI

No modern concept car would be complete without the buzzword of sustainability being mentioned, and so we can inform you that the Aceman is using knitted textiles made from recycled fabrics in its cabin.

There’s also no leather or chrome to be found anywhere in or on the car. Instead, you get funky-looking fabric seats, a velour-covered steering wheel, and fancy light and sound projections when you enter or exit the car (or use certain functions).

All in all, the Aceman still looks like a new Mini, and the design (while being a bit cyberpunk-futuristic) isn’t as extreme as some of the other recent products to come out of Munich. It’s quite a looker, actually, and we’re looking forward to seeing the final product when it gets unveiled as early as 2024.

Frank Schuengel

Frank is a German e-commerce executive who loves his wife, a Filipina, so much he decided to base himself in Manila. He has interesting thoughts on Philippine motoring. He writes the aptly named ‘Frankly’ column.